Classics Revisited: Art by Derek Erdman, Clare Johnson and Mare Odomo Opening Night Party
Charlotte Bronte, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison—we love them, their books and how they inspire us. Three Seattle artists, Derek Erdman, Clare Johnson and Maré Odomo, revisit favorite classic and contemporary authors and books, revealing the person behind the words, the images these books put in their heads, freshly uncovered quotes or even an entirely new way of telling the story. Each artist takes a different approach, with large-scale painted portraits, intricate black and white scenes in pen and ink, and a four-panel comic about unrequited love and “The Virgin Suicides,” all making you want to revisit the dog-eared classics on your own bookshelf—or maybe read the authors for the first time.
Presented in conjunction with Blitz Art Walk, the opening night party is on October 11, 5-8 p.m., where you can meet the artists and read the books that inspired them. Select artworks will be available for purchase, and Hugo House’s bar will be open.
The exhibit runs October 8-November 16 at Richard Hugo House.
*[pictured right:] “the heartless elegance” by Clare Johnson (inspired by Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”)
About the Artists
Clare Johnson is a writer and visual artist, originally from Seattle and trained in London. Her art has been exhibited widely throughout Seattle and England, including at the Jerwood Space (where she was shortlisted for the Polly Campbell award), OVADA, and Lauderdale House (where she was a Pride in the House winner). She’s had solo exhibitions at North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford, Bridport Arts Centre, Richard Hugo House and Guy’s Hospital in London, where her 35-piece drawing project about her childhood experiences with asthma was acquired for their permanent collection. Her writing has been published in Blithe House Quarterly, Cranky and quiet; she’s won the Michael S. Harper Poetry Prize and been a finalist for Hugo House’s New Works Competition. Her Post-it Note Project, exhibited at Hugo House and Barnstorm last year, garnered a cover-feature in Real Change and won a Seattle Magazine Best of 2011 for “Best New Take on the Memoir.”
Derek Erdman went to seven different public schools before graduating from high school near Cleveland, Ohio. The strong but misguided work ethic of the rusting Midwest rubbed off on him, and he’s now in constant need to be doing something or face the overwhelming depression of inactivity, which is usually quelled by TV + bed. Derek lives with his wife and two guinea pigs a block away from a Safeway where he shops twice a day. He’s a painter, telephone rapper, gallery owner, writer and illustrator at The Stranger and the temporary secretary at Sub Pop Records. He’s sold over 3,000 paintings since he began painting in 2001. More at derekerdman.com.
Maré Odomo makes comics about feelings. More at mareodomo.com.